New Year’s resolutions give everyone an opportunity for a fresh start — including college students. The thought of bettering yourself sounds exciting, but the hard truth is that only 8 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them.
The key is to set realistic goals that will prevent you from falling into a vicious cycle of failed resolutions. Let’s take a look at four practical resolutions you can make in order to avoid feeling like a failure two weeks into the new year.
Stop Being a Perfectionist
You want to earn straight A’s across the board — we get it — but you shouldn’t miss out on your college experience in pursuit of perfection. Learn to find a balance between school responsibilities and making time for yourself. Don’t skip out on birthdays and important social events for a grade; your relationships matter, too. Of course, you should study, turn your work in on time, and strive to do your best, but you don’t need to do those at the expense of having a life. We’re not saying to slack but don’t let the pursuit of the perfect become the enemy of achieving the good.
Limit Social Media Use
Have you paid close attention to how much time you spend on social media? If not, you may be surprised at how much time you actually waste scrolling through your feeds. Seeing what your best friends are up to online is a great way to stay connected, but it’s not good if your academics start to suffer. Try setting an attainable goal of using social media a predetermined number of minutes per day. For instance, “I will use Facebook and Instagram only 30 minutes each day during my lunch break.”
A simple New Year’s resolution to limit social media use will free up more of your time and improve your overall productivity at school, not to mention easing your mental and emotional stress that comes from sifting through current events, fake news, and constant info overload.
Start a Study Group
Speaking of social media . . . can you imagine what it must have been like for students who were in Mark Zuckerberg’s study groups at Harvard? The point is, you never know who you can connect with and learn from if you try. Some of the greatest leaders today met their colleagues and current business partners in college. If leading a study group seems like too much responsibility, consider meeting once a week with a small group of two to three students.
Having accountability partners is an excellent way to stay motivated throughout the year, and you just might make a new friend or two or start the next big thing.
Make Self-Care a Priority
Prioritizing self-care is where most college students who make New Year’s resolutions fail, but you don’t have to follow the crowd. Instead of setting a hard-to-reach goal like losing the Freshman 15 in only one month, start with smaller attainable goals. For instance, getting an extra half-hour of sleep each night is a goal that could help improve your focus, energy levels, and health over time. If you stumble and fall off the wagon, it’s never too late to get back on and get back into the things that help you keep care.
If you give yourself credit for achieving realistic resolutions, you’ll continue to smash your goals for years to come. Which New Year’s resolutions will you make and keep this year?